Ok so we went back to the impressionists and the paintings of ladies with mirrors. However would add the real woman in this painting was a dancer and is not really the poem’s subject. The idea is an old idea of feminity not how women really lived. From the greeks wanting their women to weave and sing and never be seen to today’s effortless no visible make up but perfected face version we have ideas of how women should look and act that is where this went. We took our extra words from the happy prince by Oscar Wilde which is time appropriate.
She is caught in an outside hat. A woman’s hair not often washed then traps pheromones will scent deeply of her womaness and must be covered so as not to attract men, a swarm, crawling like bumblebees on a primrose. She is leaning limpwristed an affectation of sickliness desired to appear pale and wan as if you had lived protected in an airing cupboard folded with your virtue warm and crisp. A fantasy of women whose hands do nothing there are maids with hooks who do up the rows and rows of buttons bone and pearl and shell to arrange that protected hair pile it up nest like over a coddled mind resting in the centre.